US House Approves Bill to Stop Waters of US Rule Expansion

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed the  Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078) which prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing new rules that would expand federal regulatory authority. The bill passed by a margin of 262-152

Having been at the Capitol this week working on this issue, BASE would like to thank Rep. Mike McIntyre and Rep. Walter B. Jones and their staffs for their support of this important initiative.

H.R. 5078- Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014 , prohibits the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from:

  • developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing the proposed rule entitled, “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act,” issued on April 21, 2014, or the proposed guidance entitled, “Guidance on Identifying Waters Protected By the Clean Water Act,” dated February 17, 2012; or
  • using the proposed rule or proposed guidance, any successor document, or any substantially similar proposed rule or guidance as the basis for any rulemaking or decision regarding the scope or enforcement of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act).

The bill requires the Army Corps and the EPA to withdraw the interpretive rule entitled, “Notice of Availability Regarding the Exemption from Permitting Under Section 404(f)(1)(A) of the Clean Water Act to Certain Agricultural Conservation Practices,” issued on April 21, 2014.

Further, the bill requires the Army Corps and the EPA to consult with relevant state and local officials to develop recommendations for a regulatory proposal that would identify the scope of waters covered under the Clean Water Act and the scope of waters not covered.

THANK YOU to those BASE members and local governments which have called on Congress to act on this critical issue. It is imperative that the US Senate now address the issue. In spite of the House action, the EPA rulemaking and public comment process is still open until October 20. IF YOU HAVE NOT SENT IN FORMAL COMMENTS, PLEASE DO SO ASAP!

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